Jeremy Hendricks

Dust Mites

Diseases carried

Allergens (triggers) from dust mites can come from their body parts, saliva, or their droppings.

Allergic diseases from exposure to dust mites can include asthma, hayfever, conjunctivitis, sinusitis, eczema or any combination of these. They have also been linked with conjunctivitis, urticaria, dermatitis, anaphylaxis, hypersensitive pneumonia, angioedema, extrinsic allergic alveolitis, allergic and migraine headache, and certain gut disorders in which IgE is involved.

Of the 22 known allergens from dust mites, seven are active digestive enzymes and several are classified as unknown.

Did you know?

  • Dust mites are arachnids, which mean they are related to spiders.
  • Dust mites can’t drink or urinate. Since they must have water, they absorb it from moist environments through glands on their front legs.
  • The average life cycle for a male dust mite is 10–19 days. A mated female dust mite can last up to 70 days, laying 60 to 100 eggs in the last 5 weeks of her life.
  • The dust mite is nearly impossible to see without magnification.
  • A typical mattress can contain tens of thousands of dust mites.
  • Dust mites primarily feed on dead skin shed by humans and other animals.
  • Up to 100,000 mites can live in a single square yard of carpet!

Bird Lice/Mites

Diseases carried

Chicken mites are known carriers of encephalitis and may also cause fowl mite dermatitis & acariasis. Chicken mites primarily feed on the blood of birds, but will often bite humans. They are commonly found on pigeons, starlings, and house sparrows.

Lice of all kinds enjoy the barrier feathers create, some feeding on the feathers themselves. A variety of such lice also enjoy human skin and hair.

How fast do they spread?

Bird Mites are present in many species across the globe, but are very tiny, almost microscopic, eight-legged parasites that feed on the blood of common birds, and are capable of rapid mass production.

Carried by birds, and dwelling in great numbers within the nests of these birds, Bird Mites become a problem to humans when Pest Birds are nesting in close proximity to where we live or work.

Termites

Types of termites in South Africa

  • Termite King and Queen
  • Termite Workers
  • Termite Soldiers
  • Alates
  • Coptotermes spp.
  • Cryptotermes spp.
  • Neotermes spp.

How fast do they spread?

Termites forage almost at a constant bases and can spread up to 150 feet around their one colony. It doesn’t take long for termites to ‘nest’ and an infestation can take place within a few days.

Did you know?

  • There are more than 2,300 species of termites worldwide.
  • Worker and soldier termites are blind. Only termites that have become fully mature, reproductive termites develop eyes.
  • Termites cannot “eat” wood. Termites need the help of single-cell organisms in their guts to digest the wood.
  • Ants are termite’s main predator.
  • Termites build the largest nests of any insect.
  • Termites communicate through chemical signals and vibrations caused by head-banging.
  • Termites have lived on Earth for 250 million years.
  • Termites break down tough plant fibers, recycling dead and decaying trees into new soil.
  • The average lifespan of termites is approximately 1 to 2 years.

Ticks

Types of ticks

  • American Dog tick
  • Brown Dog tick
  • Gulf Coast tick
  • Lone Star tick
  • Black-legged tick

Diseases carried

Severe tick infestations can cause anemia, weight loss, paralysis and even death.

Common tick-borne diseases include: Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Tularemia, Ehrlichiosis, Relapsing fever, Colorado tick fever and Babesiosis

Did you know?

  • Ticks are arachnids, which mean they are closely related to spiders and scorpions.
  • Tick infestations are more common in dogs than cats.
  • Ticks are generally not born with disease agents. They acquire them through feeding and pass them onto other animals.
  • Pets may contract multiple diseases from a single tick bite.
  • An adult female tick can consume more than 0.6 ml of blood.
  • Without blood ticks will die.
  • Ticks cannot jump, fly or run.
  • Adult ticks can live up to 2 years without feeding.
  • Female ticks deposit from 3,000 to 6,000 eggs on the ground, usually in sheltered areas, under rocks and in the crevices of walls.
  • Male ticks usually die after mating with one or more females.

Mosquitoes

Types of mosquitoes in South Africa

  • Anopheles mosquito
  • Aedes mosquito
  • Culex mosquito

Diseases carried

Diseases transmitted by mosquitoes include: malaria, dengue, West Nile virus, chikungunya, yellow fever, filariasis, Japanese encephalitis, Saint Louis encephalitis, Western equine encephalitis, Eastern equine encephalitis, Venezuelan equine encephalitis, La Crosse encephalitis and Zika fever.

Did you know?

  • Mosquitoes are the deadliest animals on Earth, because they carry a number of deadly diseases such as malaria, dengue fever, yellow fever, and encephalitis.
  • There are more than 3 500 species of mosquitoes.
  • Only females bite humans and animals, males feed on flower nectar.
  • Mosquitoes can fly up to 1.5 miles per hour, and their wings beat 300-600 times per second.
  • Mosquitoes can detect carbon dioxide from 75 feet away.
  • Mosquitoes don’t have teeth; they have a long, pointed mouthpart called a proboscis.
  • Mosquitoes can drink up to three times its weight.
  • The average lifespan of a mosquito is less than two months.

Spiders

Types of spiders in South Africa

  • Black House spider
  • Daddy Long Legs spider
  • Funnel Web spider
  • Garden Orb-Weaving spider
  • Harvestman spider
  • Huntsman spider
  • Trap Door spider
  • Wolf spider
  • Yellow Sac spider
  • Button spider
  • Violin spider

Diseases carried

Diseases transmitted by spiders include: spider bites, arthropod bites and stings, loxoscelism, arachnophobia, latrodectism and spider angioma.

Did you know?

  • There are around 40000 different species of spiders.
  • Most tarantula species pose no threat to humans.
  • The biggest spider species have been known to kill mice, lizards and birds.
  • Spiders can produce seven different kinds of silk.
  • Spiders’ silk is so strong that it has been compared to steel.
  • Baby spiders look like adult spiders.
  • A spider’s egg can contain 1500 baby spiders.
  • Spiders drink their prey.
  • The average lifespan of a spider is 2 to 3 years.

Rats

Types of rats in South Africa

  • Black rat
  • Brown rat

How fast do they spread?

A female rat can mate as many as 500 times with various males during a six-hour period of receptivity. A pair of brown rats can produce as many as 2,000 descendants in a year if left to breed unchecked.

Diseases carried

Rat bites and scratches can result in disease and rat-bite fever. Rat urine is responsible for the spread of leptospirosis, which can result in liver and kidney damage.

Lymphocytic choriomeningitis is transmitted through the saliva of rats.

Did you know?

  • Rats succumb to peer-pressure.
  • Rats take care of other injured/ sick rats in their group.
  • Rats can remember anything. Once they learn a new route, they will never forget it.
  • Rats are clean animals, they spending hours every day grooming themselves and their group members.
  • Rats can go longer than 5 days without having a drink of water.
  • Rats’ tails help them to balance and communicate.
  • Rat’s teeth are strong enough to cut through concrete.
  • An average rat’s life span is two to three years.

Flies

Types of flies

  • House fly
  • Horse fly
  • Bluebottle fly
  • Cluster fly
  • Sand fly
  • Fruit fly
  • Drain fly
  • Flesh fly
  • Fermentation fly
  • Lacewings

How fast do they spread?

Each female fly can lay about 500 eggs in a lifetime, in batches of about 75 to 150. Within a day, maggots hatch from the eggs; they live and feed on (usually dead and decaying) organic material, such as garbage, carrion or feces.

Diseases carried

Flies collect pathogens on their legs and mouths when females lay eggs on decomposing organic matter such as feces and garbage.

Diseases carried by house flies include typhoid, cholera, dysentery, salmonella, anthrax and tuberculosis. House flies have also been known to transmit the eggs of parasitic worms.

Did you know?

  • Flies have no teeth, but they have a long tongue that sucks up food like a straw.
  • There are over 100,000 species of flies live on earth.
  • Flies carry diseases such as Typhoid.
  • Flies have thousands of tiny lenses, which make up the eyes of a fly.
  • There are fly species that mimic other insects such as hover flies. They look like bees or wasps, making it easier to scare off predators.
  • Flies can smell over 750 yards away.